Pause

There’s a fountain free, ’tis for you and me:
Let us haste, oh, haste to its brink;
’Tis the fount of love from the Source above,
And [God] bids us all freely drink.

Will you come to the fountain free?
Will you come? ’Tis for you and me;
Thirsty soul, hear the welcome call:
’Tis a fountain opened for all.

from “There’s a Fountain Free” by Mary B. Slade (1876)

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Listen

The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”

Luke 3:15-17

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Think

The Christian practice of baptism powerfully combines the physical and spiritual in one simple practice. Some traditions baptize young babies, while others practice baptism for older children and adults. John the Baptist explains that he is baptizing with water, but Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

We will never know exactly what God sees when a person is baptized, but we do know that through baptism we are invited into the divine mystery. This passage teaches us about baptism by using the symbols of water and fire — basic earthly elements used to symbolize God’s saving work. Water refreshes, cleans and soothes. Fire warms, energizes and purifies. Through baptism we are brought in and made a part of this divine mystery.

Amy Bost Hengar

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Pray

Gracious and eternal God, you have called us to be a part of the work you are doing in the world. Empower me through baptism. Empower me through your Spirit, who gives courage and energy to complete the tasks you place before me. Help me today. Through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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Go

There’s a living stream, with a crystal gleam:
From the throne of life now it flows;
While the waters roll let the weary soul
Hear the call that forth freely goes.

Will you come to the fountain free?
Will you come? ’Tis for you and me;
Thirsty soul, hear the welcome call:
’Tis a fountain opened for all.

from “There’s a Fountain Free” by Mary B. Slade (1876)

Amy Bost Henegar

Dr. Amy Bost Henegar is a pastor, writer, and spiritual life coach based in New York City. She helps women (and men and children) recognize, celebrate, and deepen God’s work in their lives. You can find her online at amybosthenegar.com.

40 Days and 40 Nights

Josh Ritter

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